A crisp chill and aroma of pumpkin and apple treats fill the air. Red, orange and vibrant yellows burst through the trees, laughter fills corn mazes, destinations inspire curiosity and ghost stories echo from the past. Fall adventures await you in Tennessee.
Colorblind Viewfinders – Statewide
Tennessee has some of the most beautiful fall colors in the world. Visitors with red-green color blindness are now able to enjoy fall leaves bursting with color with colorblind viewfinders at 15 scenic overlooks across the state, including Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Ober Mountain in Gatlinburg and Chickasaw State Park in Henderson. Watch the captivating video and find the map, locations and more information at TNfallcolor.com.
Grains and Grits – Townsend
The Townsend Grains & Grits Festival returns Nov. 4, 2023 with Southern spirits and gourmet grub. Experience the thriving craft spirits and gourmet food community while discovering some of the region’s legendary distillers and blenders in the Peaceful Side of the Smokies. Experience live entertainment guaranteed to get you moving, indulge in savory bites and sweet treats from local purveyors and sample the vast selection of local spirits from regional legends.
Bear-Varian Fall Festival at Anakeesta – Gatlinburg (Smoky Mountains)
Experience the season and changing leaves at Anakeesta, Gatlinburg’s award-winning theme park. During Anakeesta’s Bear-Varian Fall Festival which runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 31, visitors can enjoy Halloween-themed décor and sample drink specials from local and regional craft breweries. Make your way to the Vista Gardens and stroll through stunning nature-inspired pumpkin carvings. As day turns to night and the sun dips below the mountains in the distance, the lights come on and the whole village becomes awash in orange, purple and a mystical green.
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival – Pigeon Forge
Dollywood goes all out to celebrate the fall season with its annual Harvest Festival and the Great Pumpkin LumiNights. From Sept. 20 until Oct. 30, bask in the glow of thousands of intricately carved pumpkins, explore the new Hoot Owl Hollow, and savor the harvest-themed menu.
Museum of Appalachia – Clinton
Enjoy pioneer Southern Appalachian traditions and old-time demonstrations of the fall harvest season. Fall Heritage Days at the Museum of Appalachia feature a hayride and maze, traditional music, tractor exhibition, demonstrations and a pumpkin patch on select weekends.
Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary – Petros
Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary was known as the “end of the line”; holding some of the state’s most violent inmates, like James Earl Ray. During the day, former guards and former inmates give tours, but on certain nights, it turns into a haunted history lover’s dream with Brushy’s overnight paranormal tours. Small groups can tour the prison with equipment in hopes to capture evidence and hear the stories that still echo through the walls and cell blocks.
Scarecrow Walk Festival – Granville
Take a step back in time in Historic Granville in the beautiful Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. Scarecrows tell the colorful stories of fall during October on the streets of historic Granville at Scarecrow Walk Festival. Other October events include the Artisan’s Festival, Quilt Show, Jazz Festival, Motorcycle Show and Ghost Walk.
Lucky Ladd Farms – Eagleville
Lucky Ladd Farms offers a unique farm experience with newly expanded playgrounds, hands-on animal encounters, a pumpkin patch, corn maze, pony rides, tractor train and fall treats like kettle corn, caramel apples, fresh-baked donuts, apple cider slushies and pumpkin spice lattes.
Cheekwood Harvest – Nashville
Celebrate all things fall during Cheekwood Harvest, held over six weeks at Nashville’s Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. The changing of the leaves is one of many garden highlights you’ll find as oaks, maples, dogwoods and other trees greet you with their brilliant colors. Activities and experiences are designed for kids, adults and families alike, including pumpkin houses, elaborate scarecrows and even a Halloween Pooch Party for your costumed canine.
Real Fall Beauty at Reelfoot Lake – Tiptonville
Located in the Northwest corner of Tennessee, Reelfoot Lake State Park is a beautiful place for fall outdoor activities. Fall color pontoon cruises take place on the weekends during October and November at Reelfoot Lake. See the changing leaves and water birds on a two-hour tour with an experienced naturalist. Tour guides will share their knowledge of the area’s history and ecology while helping you find the best photo ops for fall foliage.
For more fall travel inspiration, visit TNvacation.com.
About the writer: Jill Kilgore is a fall fanatic, travel expert and senior communications manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Follow @TNvacation for more tips and travel inspiration
This post is in sponsored collaboration with Visit TN